I didn't really get into crafting until after I capped my con. Basically, what I did, was pick out some pretty pink canvas gear, not paying any attention at all to the optimal rank, and wore that, usually broken gear, until 50. I got it fixed now and then, and around 40ish I got weaver high enough to repair canvas, but for the most part, my leather/gold/crp stuff was still usually busted, so meh.
I don't get why you have to be around 40ish to repair your canvas gear. I can repair almost all canvas gear by the time I'm r28 Weaver. With the rule being 10 ranks below optimal item rank, and not needing any extra ranks for HQ gear, you can comfortably cap all your crafts at r40 if you're so inclined to, although most gear can be repaired in the upper 30s already.
I didn't mean I had my weaver at 40ish to repair my canvas gear. I meant I waited until my Con was about 40ish before I leveled weaver high enough to repair canvas, and that I used the same canvas gear the whole time while leveling, and never had any problems staying alive, healing a party of 15, or capping SP at 500 minus surplus on the old sp system. Keep in mind that with that sp system, more dmg to the party meant more sp for healers, so we actually deliberately let our gear break, used lower level armor, and even went naked sometimes. Only after I hit 50 con, which was right before they changed the sp system, did I start leveling crafts more than a nominal amount... Which was good, since I wasn't about to go solo a battle job, so it gave me something to do. :P
As a side note, I kind of miss the old SP system... I hated that it encouraged playing like noobs, like for example, you'd think with a mob that has front side AoE, it'd be a good idea for the DD to stand to the side, and wear good gear etc... Nope, it was best to have everyone pile on top of the tank, wear crummy gear, and take as much damage as possible without dying, meanwhile the mages would spam the smallest cures they could to maximize SP, and every DD with voke would spam it for extra sp, etc. But, at the same time, those parties were a lot more fun than the solo grinds and easy prey shredding that followed. I'd like to see the new sp system, but in a way that focuses on tougher fights. Whose gonna fight ferocious high level raptors or drakes that take a bit to kill, when shredding coblyns in a party is still better? I for one hope SE ninja patches coblyns into ridiculously tough rapemode mobs that give about 2k sp per hour with the best of setups. ;p
Anyway, most of my current gear is rank 47 or 48, so while I could go for 38 crafts, I figure the extra couple levels might make for less failed repairs... Not saying I'm gonna get those crafts to 40 anytime soon, but eventually, that's where I plan on taking them. I don't have a problem getting repairs now, but I just like to be self sufficient, and with little else to do besides NM's, I figure leveling some crafts here and there doesn't hurt.
And as for the HQ repair thing, I'm not a pgl, I just heard a lot of complaints about it. I assume what that other guy said about me misunderstanding it is probably what happened... All the people I hear mention it probably refer to the jadeite itself as the HQ mat, rather than a jadeite +1, since you need to HQ the jade to get it and the NQ is nephrite. That makes more sense. But yeah, still... Our linkshells 50 goldsmith is always looking for more jade +3's to use when making repair mats, as well as the weapons themselves. Would just be a little nicer if they needed a more common mat like glue or a nugget or something, given how fast they break. Maybe when SE rebalances how fast things break, that will clear it up a bit.